How does Rick Santorum square his one word descriptor ("courage") with "taking one for the team" on NCLB? In fairness, he's sometimes been a pragmatic politician, occasionally necessary to thrive as a Republican in a blue state like Pennsylvania. But if you've got the "pragmatic politician" stuff in your background -- as he does with earmarks, Planned Parenthood, Specter and NCLB, to name a few -- it complicates your efforts to market yourself as the "pure" conservative.
Carol Platt Liebau is an attorney, political commentator and guest radio talk show host based near New York. Learn more about her new book, "Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Hurts Young Women (and America, Too!)" here.